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Another Noisy EA81 Thread - Solved with some ???


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Crazyeights

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 09:01 PM

Yes, I have used the search function:grin: After tearing down about 3 cores I finally selected a candidate to freshen up. EA81 solid lifter block, here are some details. Cylinders honed and block halves power-washed, crank and rods checked, new STD bearings, (crank polished) NOS EA71 1600 pistons and pins, Hastings Rings, Delta 252 solid lifter cam grind (they did the lifters too), GD's SPFI conversion with port matched intake manifold, new SOA oil pump, and Jerry Demoss ported heads with 3 angle grind .020 off of each.

Posted Image

It's in, runs GREAT and makes lots more power than the old stock EA81. My only concern is the amount of what sounds like valve train noise compared to the old tired solid lifter engine that came out. I have double checked that the rocker assemblies are on the correct sides and that aluminum push rods were used and triple checked the clearance (Delta said I can run .006/.008) and it's still pretty noisy.

Looking through my spare parts it looks as if there might be 2 different length aluminum push rods - 1 knurled stripe versus 2 stripes

[EDIT] Found in the FSM, I bet I used the shorter ones. Will swap them and re-adjust :popcorn:

I checked and I did have the correct length push rods installed. I guess I must not be used to a solid lifter engine without 200k worth of sludge inside for sound insulation:grin:

GD - Note the IAC spacer I made and the EGR block off plate where the dummy EGR/Purge solenoids are mounted

BTW Xoomer this is the core out of your old Brat. The one I traded you the canopy for!

Thanks for any thoughts

Edited by Crazyeights, 22 May 2010 - 12:37 PM.
Push Rod Length


#2 rxleone

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 07:31 PM

TBH dude, my knowledge of EA81's is pretty limited, and I'm sure someone else will come along and help - but that is one tidy engine :grin:

#3 Crazyeights

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 07:41 PM

Thanks! My best analogy is it sounds like a built solid lifter Air Cooled VW motor, and it sure has a LOT more power than the old one did. I was just wanting to hear from someone with a similar build to see if it's normal. So far It has about 100 miles on it, good oil pressure and temp, ect.

#4 hatchsub

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 08:38 PM

This may be too obvious and stupid but ill say it anyways...have you double and tripple checked your valve lash? I know that Backwoodsboy had to set the valves pretty tight to get rid of most of his lifter tick on his delta cam'd EA81. You might just have to tighten them ever so slightly to get rid of the noise.

#5 Crazyeights

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 10:47 PM

Ya, I've been through the lash several times and it still sounds like they are too noisy. Right now they are at .006 and .008 and it sounds like .020 to me. I'll take my time and go through it one more time making sure to adhere to the FSM line-up procedure. I can live with it like it is if this is normal. I'll just have to get new speakers, a Flowmaster, and start having some serious fun! :grin:

[UPDATE] Thanks to backwoodsboy's advice I finally have the valve clatter down to a reasonable level. I ended up at .003 and .004 hot and although I can still hear them they are no longer a bother. Now if I could just nail down where to set the timing for best idle quality and maximum power it will be a really sweet build. I think I may have done something wrong when I converted the distributor or made the SPFI harness. I have to run well over 30 degrees base timing (with the jumper connected at idle) to get any power out of it.

Edited by Crazyeights, 22 May 2010 - 12:34 PM.


#6 Freds404

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 01:52 AM

I wish I had time to do a build like that. I have an 85 Brat and an 82 that I want to keep on the road. One reasonably original but the ability to have the fun and commute comfortably and the other just going over the top because I can.

The 85 I want to keep "original" but functional as a modern commuter. I like old things and want to keep it that way but it does need help. Right now its getting old, unreliable and its time do get some serious service. I want to do a full overhaul including engine build, 5 speed d/r swap and drive shafts but this guy has no time. I need to find somebody with time and skills.

Any extra build time I have is being eaten up with my 82 Brat conversion. I guess its more of an 07 STI conversion at this point. Complete running gear from one going into the body of the other... bet you can guess which way its going. (there will be pictures and all that to come... some day).

Now that its been over a year how is the engine holding up, any changes made?

#7 Crazyeights

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 07:07 AM

All I can say is the more I drive it the better it gets! It's smoother now across the whole range of power ( off idle right to about 5k rpms) with plenty of torque the whole way. It's really fun to drive for a little EA81, and it's capable of pretty good mileage too if you drive it nicely:grin:

Overall I would recommend the same build again with one exception. Start with a Hydro block and lifters, or at the very least do a solid lifter build using a Delta reground "hydro cam" as a core so you end up with a larger base circle diameter.

#8 backwoodsboy

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 07:07 AM

Right now they are at .006 and .008 and it sounds like .020 to me.



I wasnt gonna post this here, but since this thread has been revived....

Noisy lifters? I FIXED IT!!!!

Ive got another EA81 together, and had the same noise from the lifters.

I got down to .002 and .004 and didnt want to go any tighter for fear of burning valves.

I made some rocker arm return springs from the heavy throttle-body return spring on an EJ intake.

With the "return springs" in place, it puts a constant light "tension" on the pushrods (via the rocker arms) and eliminates almost all the clatter.

I was able to set the valve lash comfortably at .008 and .010 and have basically no noise except for at very high RPMs

#9 Crazyeights

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 02:28 PM

Can't quite picture how you did this but I would be VERY interested in a pic or two if you have them. THANKS! My build was partly inspired by yours!

#10 backwoodsboy

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:58 AM

Ill see if I cant snap a couple pics this weekend when I have the covers off again.

#11 Vinny1979

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 08:00 AM

Pics would be great. I am going to attempt to adjust the valve lash on Garner's brat and while I am in there I would consider this modification.

Thanks in advance

#12 Crazyeights

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 10:14 PM

The deck and heads have both been milled or surfaced a total of .025 per side on my engine. I seems like this throws off the valve train geometry just enough to make adjusting them a pain. Had I known this going in I would have selected an Auto cam and ended up with a larger base circle.

I had another easier thought. What if I took an extra set of rockers down and had .025 machined off of the surface where they bolt to the head? Wouldn't this restore the VT geometry to near perfect again? Or would I need .025 shims under them, can't think tonight:confused:

#13 81EA81

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:56 AM

any word on the valve spring pic? EJ TB return spring?

#14 el_freddo

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 04:39 AM

I'm keen for pics of this return spring setup too - even though this thread has been quiet for over 2 years!

Cheers

Bennie






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